Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Italian Comedian Francesco de Carlo

Francesco De Carlo
Francesco De Carlo
Photo by Snej Shandarinova

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Italian stand-up comedian Francesco de Carlo.

We kick off the interview by speaking about Francesco ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Show, Comfort Zone. He tells me about the idea behind the show and the themes that he speaks about during it.
He speaks about finally realising a dream by moving to the UK, however, he was soon in a place of shock when very soon after arriving in London the British voted for Brexit.

We speak about Francsco’s background in politics and how after becoming disillusioned after working in the European Parliament he decided to get into comedy. He had been working as a press officer and had been very passionate about politics, now he’s taken his experience into political and satirical comedy.

Franceso is one of the Italy’s pioneering stand-up comedians, the discipline of comedy is still pretty new in the country. In the past, comedy was more like in cabaret shows with monologues and some slap stick and stand-up is still finding its feet, so we speak about that for a bit and how Franceso believes that practicing comedy and learning his craft in Britain is the best place to do it.
We also talk about comedy clubs in Italy and how some day he wants to return to Italy to hopefully get some off the ground.

We talk then about how Francesco de Carlo got his break in Italian comedy. After he stopped working at The European Parliament; he wrote a satirical song about Silvio Berlusconi and his Bunga Bunga parties, this led to him getting a job on afternoon radio on one of Rome’s best-known radio stations doing prank phone calls.

We get back to politics then and we get talking about his experience of living in Britain since the Brexit vote. We also get chatting about the rise of populism in Central and Eastern Europe. Francesco, as an Italian, knows a lot about populism in politics so we speak about what he thinks will happen in Europe in the coming years.
He tells me then about how the Italians fought back against populism and how he believes it will also happen in other countries. However, it took the Italians a long time to get to that points, beginning with Beppe Grillo (Italy’s most well-know comedian) organising the Vaffanculo (Fuck Off) Day.

We talks then a bit more about why he moved to England and what he misses from Italy, in particular he says that time passes much more slowly in Italy. But he actually quite likes British food, so we bury that old cliche.

We chat then about Comedy San Frontiers, a set of gigs he did with Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and more, where they toured all over the world bringing comedy to places that Western comedians would never have been allowed to enter not all that long ago.

We get talking then about his previous Edinburgh experiences and what he learned from his 2014 show that will help him with this year’s show Comfort Zone.
Finally then we speak about his writing techniques and how he takes an idea and brings it to stage in his sets.

Francesco de Carlo’s Edinburgh show: here
Francesco’s website: here
Francesco’s Twitter: here
Francesco’s Instagram: here
Francesco’s Facebook: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Irish Comedian Conor Drum

Conor Drum
Conor Drum
Photo by Mark Dawson Photography

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Irish stand-up comedian Conor Drum.

We kick off speaking about Conor’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe show All My Friends Are Dead, we speak about where the name comes from, don’t fear he’s friends aren’t actually dead, just metaphorically dead.

He tells me about his friends always trying to set him up with the loser girl at weddings and he speaks about how he seems to be not achieving “life goals” at the same rate as his friends.

He talks about the idea of ‘the one’ and how simply ludicrous it is, but if it does exist scientists need to descend on his hometown and study his mates because so many have seemed to found ‘the one’ in their own backyards.

We chat then about why it gets harder and harder to go on the session as you get older and Conor laments for his younger days when hangovers didn’t hurt so much.

I ask Conor about when he meets his married friends now does he get a sense of pity of jealousy from them.

We return to the subject of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival then and I ask Conor about his show a bit more, he had actually done a shorter version of it last year so I wanted to know more about the process of improving on last year’s show.
We talk about some of the highs and lows of performing at the Fringe over the years and what he’s learned during that time from performing there and how those experiences have helped with him putting on his current show All My Friends Are Dead.

It comes up a lot on the podcast that Irish comedians almost have to move to England to make it there first and Conor tells me a story about a time he met Jimmy Carr while working and some advice he gave Conor about getting better gigs in The UK.

Conor Drum will be well-known to Irish listeners, he made headlines in Ireland in 2014, when his show Nutjob about his testicular cancer became widely known, so we speak about that as well.

Conor also does a bit of acting and writing so we got talking about a recent article he wrote for HuffPost about the new drinking session, a Baby Storm, a bit like a Baby Shower, but totally different and actually enjoyable.

We talk then about film, what he loves about it and what he’s like to do in the future but also what he prefers about stand-up comedy when you compare the two disciplines.

We speak then about his writing process and how he likes to expand on ideas and who his comedic influences were growing up.

Conor Drum’s Edinburgh show: here 
Conor’s Website: here
Conor’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Stuart Black

Stuart Black
Stuart Black
Photo by Steve Ullathorne

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Stuart Black.

We kick off the interview in unusual fashion, with a bit of a preamble about who much Stuart reminds me of Britain’s greatest punk poet, Mr. John Cooper Clarke.

We delve into me fiding out I’m lactose intolerant, Stuart says when a man can’t eat cheese a man can’t live. Then he tells me about the impending doom of a butter shortage.
Stuart tells me a little bit then about his Irish roots and I reveal why the Polish thing the Irish and British are inbred.

We get onto Stuart’s Edinburgh Show then, It’s the End of the World as We Know it, he tells me all about the show, what it’s about, where the inspiration came from and of course when and where it’s on during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We have a chat then about why a late night slot perfectly suits his show. We get talking then about positive ‘morning’ people and why it’s all delusional, sure you feel good watching motivational talks and videos but then you’ve got to go and sit on a bus to work.

We speak about the cycle of growing up and how as we get older we always look down up the new, but Stuart like to look at the madness happening in the world and point and laugh at it.

Stuart talks then for a bit about his particular style of comedy, certainly alternative and definitely dark, and how while we can all watch the world go up in flames it’s important that we don’t just point and say something is shit, but that we laugh at just how completely ludicrous it all is anyway.

He speaks about how he comedy came from a place where he was always trying to break the tension at home, and he believes confronting uncomfortable situations from an early age with humour led him down the road to the comedy he performs now.

This is Stuart Black’s 12th time at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival so we speak about that for a while and all the things he’s learned over the years, and some of his highs and lows over the years, one of the lows including a pretty nasty story about a rat and a seagull.

We speak about Stuart’s comedic influences and how he works on his material.
We speak about what the future holds for the world, and how Stuart is kind of optimistic….kind of.

Stuart Black’s Edinburgh Show: here
Stuart’s Website: here
Stuart’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with American Comedian Maria Shehata

Maria Shehata
Maria Shehata

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from American stand-up comedian Maria Shehata.

We kick off the interview by speaking about Maria’s ongoing Edinburgh Show, Wisdomless a show about why she left LA for London after falling in love.
She talks about what she both loves and hates about London and the differences she’s noticed having living in both New York and LA before.

We get talking about living in cities in general, how I don’t particularly like it and find it hard to sleep among noise, while Maria finds no problem at all and while talking about it, she tells me I probably have misophonia, a strong reaction to specific sounds.

We speak about Maria’s ancestry and how ancestry.com got her name 100% wrong.

We get talking then again about the Edinburgh Fringe and how this is her first time doing an hour there, we talk about what she knew about the Fringe when living in America and what American comedians think of it.

We speak about the challenge of putting on a solo-one hour show and the differences between having polished 10,15-minutes of different clubs sets and why she wanted wrote something completely new for her first Fringe Show.

We speak about the differences between British and American audiences and if there’s any truth to there being any difference between them at all.
We talk about whether her delivery or style of comedy has changed at all since leaving America for the UK.

In a previous interview Maria had said that a friend noticed she kind of lived her life somewhat detached from herself, I thought that was really interesting and to be honest, really helpful when it comes to a life in comedy so we delve into the subject for a bit.

We speak then about a web series Maria was part of the America, called My Super Overactive Imagination with Cat Reinhart.

Finally then we talk too about Maria’s upcoming comedy album that she’s recording soon.

Maria Shahata’s Edinburgh Fringe Show: here

Maria’s Website: here

Maria’s Twitter: here

Maria’s Facebook: here

Maria’s Instagram: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

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The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Australian Comedian John Robertson

John Robertson
John Robertson, photo by Chris Schmidt

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Australian stand-up comedian John Robertson.

John was a host of the videogame TV show a few years ago, Videogame Nation, I loved that show so we got straight onto that, how he got involved and what he liked and disliked about working for a Saturday-morning TV programme.

John tells me how to this day people still recognise him from it in the UK and do his catchphrase from the show and he tells a hilarious story about being recognised after coming out of a Parisian Burlesque/strip show.

There’s an infamous video of John Robertson that went viral about a year ago of when he goes to town on a Heckler, I’ve linked it here so you can have a look, it’s pretty much a work of art, so we spoke about what happened on that faithful night.

We speak about John’s Edinburgh Fringe show, Dominant, when and where it’s on an all about it.

John won a Choice Award for his Edinburgh Fringe show last year, so I wanted to ask him about that and did he feel any pressure while putting together this year’s show to top last year’s.

John talks about how over the years he’s learned to not write his shows, instead coming up with an ending and improvising a full show to get to the end. It’s an amazing talent and I delve into it a bit more with him.

We chat about how John learned to read rooms, how he learned how to recognise how far he can push material with different audiences.

We talk about kids these days not knowing who the Venga Boys are.

John Robertson’s website: here

John Edinburgh Show: here
John’s Twitter: here
John’s Facebook: here
John’s YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

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The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Andy Storey

Andy Storey
Andy Storey

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Andy Storey.

We get straight in the Edinburgh Fringe stuff and speak about the show he’s putting on with Maddie Campion, Epoch.

Andy’s the first ‘clean comedian’ we’ve had on so I was really interested to get to ask him some questions about clean comedy and how he sees it as being more difficult to be both funny and clean and how he enjoys the challenge of it.

We chat about how recently he was compared to Vic Reeves and Alan Bennett and how comparisons like that make him feel.

We speak about what he’s learned over the years from putting on shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We talk then about the kinds of existential questions that come to comedians when they’re performing; do the audience care; why am I bearing my life and soul to people I don’t know who I’ll never see again, deep things like that.

We chat then for a minute about the the depths of the subconscious and how you can’t even trust your own mind as it’s always playing tricks. And it’s always good to keep grounded by reminding yourself that everything is meaningless really.

We talk about why he loves gigging so much, doing 5-nights-a-week as much as he can, honing his material at Open Mic nights and New Material nights around London.

We speak about that god-awful phrase ‘the comedy voice’ and how Andy has learned over the years to be more like himself on stage. He sees less of a difference between who he is on stage and who he is in real life.

We talk for a bit then about how Andy likes to challenge himself by constantly testing out new material, knowing that he cannot rely on trusted material he has to push his stage presence, his charisma and get his new ideas across well to the audience to get them laughing.

We natter too about the importance of language in joke, how particular words at particular times can completely change how an audience laughs, he speak about using the phrase ‘hipster hairdressers’ instead of ‘hair salon’ and how the reaction of the audience was totally different.

We speak about why some people need a push to get into things and how it took him so long to get into comedy even though he’d always wanted to do it.

Andy Storey’s Edinburgh Dates: Epoch & Keeping it Clean

Andy’s Website: here

Andy’s Twitter: here

Andy’s Instagram: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Irish Comedian Rory O’Hanlon

Rory O'Hanlon
Rory O’Hanlon

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Irish stand-up comedian Rory O’Hanlon.

We start off asking about how the previews have been going in the run up to his show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We get talking about the whole idea behind having to have a theme for shows at the Fringe and why comedians do this and why some of them use the term very loosely.

We speak about Rory’s Edinburgh Show “Getting Serious“, how he’s been preparing for it and what’s the show’s going to be about. We get a bit nerdy then on Edinburgh and speak about what he’s learned over the year from performing there. We chat about the highs and lows of performing at the Fringe and how one of the best parts of it is meeting other comedians from all over.

We talk then about the other show he’s running with former Comedy Cast guest Danny O’Brien about a variety show they’re putting on every day.

We speak about why Rory’s laptop is set to Spanish instead of English.

We get talking then about why if you want to ‘make it’ in Ireland you have to make it in England first, mostly because the Irish love to claim someone once they become well known.

We speak about the differences between Irish and British crowds and how there’s very little really, the biggest differences are when you go out into the sticks away from the cities.

We chat about sleepy English seaside towns and how they’re like something from old Scooby-Doo cartoons.

Rory O’Hanlon’s Website: here

Rory’s Podcast, This Happened Last Week: here

Rory’s Twitter: here

Rory’s Facebook: here

Rory’s Instagram: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Zahra Barri

Zahra Barri
Zahra Barri

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English comedian, Zahra Barri.

We speak about her Irish and Egyptian roots, where she lives in London now and what it was like spending a few years in Saudi Arabia as a child. We talk then about what it was like growing up in a multicultural family.

We chat about comedy writing and how it was writing that lead Zahra into comedy. We talk as well about whether it’s something she wants to pursue in the future.

We have a chat about how comedians evolve and how they have continue to evolve over the years to keep their audience interested and laughing.

We talk about the difference between the on-stage persona and the off-stage persona and about how the person on-stage is a heightened version of the off-stage person.

We natter then about the line in comedy, why it’s OK for men to joke about their penises and wanking but women are slated for joking about vaginas and periods. We talk about how really jokes should be judged on how good they are,
it doesn’t matter if a joke is ‘dirty’ if a joke is good it’s funny, if it’s not then it’s not.

We talk then a bit more about bodily functions, and I get to leave more about something Zahra jokes about; cystitis, or the honeymoon disease as it’s more commonly known as

We talk about Zahra’s writing process then for a bit and how she works on her act.

We talk about Zahra’s upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show, Walk Like an Egyptian (Bar 50, Edinburgh – https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/zahra-barri-talk-like-an-egyptian).

Zahra Barri’s website: here

Zahra’s Twitter: here

Zahra’s YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Sheraz Yousaf

Sheraz Yousaf
Sheraz Yousaf

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English comedian, Sheraz Yousaf.

We get straight into comedy as Sheraz had recently played some roles in a theatre production so I wanted to know was character acting something he’d like to pursue as well as comedy.

We speak about Sheraz’ first gig and a comedy course he took before he took the stage for the first time. We speak a bit then about comedy courses in general, their pros and cons and the strange experience he had on his when a guy made some risque jokes one time and never showed up.

Sheraz regularly releases videos on YouTube, so we speak about them for a bit, his inspiration behind the four different types of videos he puts out and how he got into it.

We talk about how he keeps bumping into old men who have a fascination for one aspect of their local region.

We speak about our shared interest in religion, while neither of us are religious we speak about how we both find the origins of religions fascinating.

We have a chat then about Sheraz’ show The Persuit of Manly-ness. We talk about the main theme of the show, are we as men losing our way and becoming less manly? What is ‘being manly’ even supposed to mean? We delve deep into the topic and discover a few things about ourselves.
Sheraz speaks about how he likes to change the order of the show and how he works on trying to perfect it.

Finally then, we speak about Sheraz’ influences growing up and the type of comedy programmes he was watching in television.

Sheraz Yousaf’s website: here

Sheraz’ Facebook: here

Sheraz’ YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

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The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Maddy Anholt

Maddy Anholt
Maddy Anholt

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English comedian/comedy character actor, Maddy Anholt.

We dive straight into Maddy’s type of comedy, character comedy, what she loves about it and, if things go badly, how she can blame the characters if and when things go wrong.

We go back to beginnings then and speak about growing up on Devon before moving to London to pursue a career in acting and comedy.

We speak about her new show which she’ll be performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Herselves. A show about the different personalities we use in our daily lives. We talk about the idea behind the show and Maddy admits to liking to play different characters in her daily life with different people as well.

We chat about the lack of comedians who play different characters on stage and how the people who do it find it so liberating to take on a persona and delve into comedy that wouldn’t normally suit their on-stage persona.

Maddy recently set up her own TV production company, MadMaddyTV, so we get taking about the ins and outs of that, how and why she established it, and some of the common pitfalls associated with setting up one. We dig a bit more into this then and talk a bit more about the TV industry and how to get things made and what to avoid doing.

We speak about Maddy studying acting and how it lead her into comedy.

We speak more then about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the kinds of things she has learned after having four successful solo shows there. And the depth to which one must go to promote shows there.

Maddy Anholt website: here

Maddy Anholt Twitter: here

MadMaddyTV website: here

MadMaddyTV YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

The Comedy Cast on Facebook: here

The Comedy Cast on Twitter: here

The Comedy Cast on YouTube: here

The Comedy Cast on Instagram: here